• Wednesday , 13 December 2017

The Cat’s Out of the Bag: Le Cat Cafe Saves Cats for Loving Homes

Photos, story by Jill Beckel

To say that the talent of Explore Philly are cat lovers is an extreme understatement. We love cats, sharing cat videos and memes, and pretty much anything cat-related. When we got a chance to check out Le Cat Café, we practically purred with joy.

Le Cat Café opened March 9, 2016 on 2713 W. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia. The owner, Kathy Jordan, has been doing animal rescue work since 2002. She loves cats and has 12 of her own at home! Le Cat Cafe is a non-profit organization that hopes to find homes for lots of deserving cats in addition to offering a unique cafe experience to its cat-loving visitors.

In 1989, Taiwan started the cat café trend by opening the first cat café which became extremely popular. KitTea was the first cat café to open in the U.S. in San Francisco. Now, cat cafes are opening all over the U.S. in DC, New York, Florida and now Philadelphia. There are an estimated 382,000 stray, feral and free-roaming cats in Philadelphia alone and Le Cat Café hopes to help more of them by helping them to find their forever homes. According to their website, Le Cat Cafe, “is a new adoption platform for Green Street Rescue. Green Street Rescue (GSR) is a Philadelphia non-profit (501c3).  We are focused on rescuing stray and homeless cats and practicing TNRM** (Trap, Neuter, Return, Manage) for the feral cats in the city. Our mission also includes finding foster homes and eventual adoptions for the friendly rescues. GSR provides education, information, and services, which assist in trapping, rescue, fostering, and the adoption of the cats. The resident cats at Le Cat Cafe all come from GSR. Last year we assisted 348 cats in finding a better life. This year to date, we have rescued 163 cats and adopted out 55.

Le Cat Café is an open café in a fun, relaxing environment. The café environment allows you to get to know a cat and the cat’s personality before you adopt it so the chance of it being a good fit for you and your family from the beginning is greatly increased. Unfortunately, lots of cats who are adopted from shelters end up back there if the owners feel like the cat is not a good fit for them or their family. By vising Le Cat Cafe first and truly getting to know a cat’s personality and behaviors, the adopter can choose which cat appeals to them the most. Since a lot of the café cats spend time in a foster home before coming to the café, Kathy can better determine which cats are good are children, how they react to homes that have no pets or multiple pets, etc. These factors also increase the chance of a successful adoption.

Kathy loves helping open peoples’ eyes about rescuing cats. She educates people about cats and how to properly care for them. She knows from her days of working at Green Street Rescue how much stray cats suffer on the street. They are starving, cold, and often abused. Most of the cats that you see in the café were found on a Philadelphia street and then taken to the vet. They then live in a foster home for a while to make sure that they are good with people. Then they come to the café when there’s room in hopes of finding their forever home. Kathy said that “each adoption actually saves two cats” because one goes home with you and then it opens up a space for another cat to be added to the café for their own chance of a successful adoption.

At Le Cat Café, the cats get play time and lots of loving interaction from other cats and people verses being sad, lonely, scared and locked in a cage at a shelter. The café environment allows people to get their “cat fix” even if for some reason they can’t own cats. This makes it a great option for senior citizens who are unable to care for pets, college students living in a dorm, people who live in places where you can’t have pets, etc.

All of the kitties seemed healthy, happy, and active. Some seemed to be just waking up from their cat naps when we arrived. There were many cat beds, full food bowls and places for the cats to climb and explore. It was a truly a cat and a cat lover’s paradise! We got to pet every cat, play with them and watch them play and interact with each other. They curiously rubbed our legs and even jumped up on our notepad during our visit to let us know that we were welcome and they’d appreciate a pet. In typical cat fashion, they love to be the center of attention.

The café has attracted a wide variety of visitors so far and can hold a maximum of 20 people at a time. You can reserve an hour (or more!) visit at the café ahead of time for just $12 an hour. Walk-ins are $15 per hour. Students, senior citizens and active military personnel are $10 per hour. This fee covers an hour at the café with one hot beverage (coffee, tea, hot chocolate). This fee goes to cover costs of the cats’ food, litter and medical bills. The café can be rented out for a minimum of one hour for parties, events, business meetings and birthday parties (please call for more details). Monday nights are “cats and mats” nights where for $15 you can take a yoga class with all the cats in the café joining in too. Gift cards are also available for that special cat lover in your life! Schedule your visit here.

If you’re interested in adopting, it’s $110 per cat which covers neutering/spaying, vaccinations and flea and parasite treatment. You can begin the application process with Kathy to bring your cat or cats home in no time! Kathy recommends adopting two cats so they have a playmate when you’re not home! Studies have shown that two cats are better for the mental and physical well-being of your pet. As of our interview date, seven cats from the cafe have been adopted so far.

Le Cat Café is open 6 days a week. In addition to Kathy, Michelle is the other full-time staff member and all the other staff are volunteers who love helping cats in their free time. The staff help open and close the café and help monitor the guests’ interactions with the cats.

Please see Le Cat Cafe’s website for more info and adorable bios of all the cats. Some of them come from sad backgrounds, but you can help make the rest of their 9 lives happy by adopting one of these friendly cats today. And if you can’t adopt, you’ll still be making a difference by visiting them, petting their cute, furry faces and supporting a non-profit that is truly determined to make a difference in this beautiful city.

 

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Welcome to Le Cat Cafe! This cutie was peeking through the mail hole at us before we went in.

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Welcome to Le Cat Cafe!

Just chillin’ at Le Cat Cafe.

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Pierre is a great climber and demonstrated how it’s done for us.

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Many of the kitties were playful.

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There were lots of food bowls all around to keep the cats happy and well-fed.

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How can you not want to pet this adorable, fluffy face?

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Cat toys are available for cafe guests to interact with the cats.

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The cafe features lots of specialty shelves, cat beds, comfy pillows and more for cats to relax and sleep on.

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Ramsey barely fit in this cat bed and as cat lovers know, that means it was purrfect.

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There were several adorable, unique cat decor details throughout the cafe.

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One cat chowing down.

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Peek-a-boo!

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Some cat cafe facts.

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Mercury hanging out.

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Visitors of the cafe can enjoy one hot beverage and free wifi included with their ticket.

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A cute cat photo book!

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Le Cat Cafe’s logo showcases their theme: cats, coffee and a Parisian feel.

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Lots of pillows and places to sit give the cafe a cozy feel.

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Up close and personal, these were some cool cats.

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The cafe has enough seating for up to 20 people to be in the cafe at once.

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Tote bags for sale.

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Playtime with Snoops!

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Cheerio kept an eye on the place to make sure everything was in order.

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These are some well-fed kitties.

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Snoops loved her banana toy.

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Cheerio was shy in front of the camera lens.

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One expecting cat mom-to-be was brought in while we were there.

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Butler likes to sit at the front desk to make sure everything is running smoothly at the cafe.

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Follow them on social media for all the latest cat news!

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The cats loved climbing on the custom shelves that were build just for them.

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“Excuse us – it’s our nap time.”

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Cheerio chasing the red laser pen.

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“Where did it go?!”

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Cheerio showed us what a great climber he is.

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7 cat adoptions since their opening in March!

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Custom cat artwork.

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The spacious cafe allows the cats lots of room to play, roam and nap.

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Pierre is a very pretty black cat.

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Luna loves her snuggly blanket.

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More cats came over to play with us.

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Cheerio checking out the scratching post toy.

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Using the red laser pen to intrigue the kitties.

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Best buds!

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This cat was curious about what the other cats were chasing.

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Snoops observing from another cat bed.

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Being a lazy cat is tiring sometimes.

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The cat bed Eiffel Tower that the cats loved climbing.

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You can learn all the cafe cats’ names and decide which one you’d like to adopt!

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Climbing high.

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Mercury checking out the newest cat.

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Le Cat Cafe owner, Kathy, and Mercury.

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Sweet kitty snuggles!

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Hi Ramsey!

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Ramsey was so soft and sweet.

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Check out a cat yoga or pilates class!

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The cats were curious about our interview and wanted to see what we were up to.

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A chart to explain different cat behaviors.

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Stop in for a cup of coffee, cats and fun!

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Such a big yawn!

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Luna looked beautiful sitting on the Eiffel Tower cat bed stand.

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A welcoming front entrance.

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Playtime!

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Cats are majestic creatures.

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“Pet me, pet me!”

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Just lounging.

Le Cat Cafe Hours:

  • Closed Monday
  • Tuesday – Thursday 12 – 2 pm and 3 – 6 pm
  • Friday- Saturday 12 – 2 pm and 3 – 7 pm
  • Sunday 12 – 2 pm and 3 – 6 pm

(*The café is closed daily from 2 – 3 pm so the cats can have a peaceful nap.)

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